A HISTORIC tree in Luss is to be part of a UK-wide network of ancient trees and woodlands to be dedicated to the Queen in celebration of the Platinum Jubilee.

The yew tree in the village is named after King Robert the Bruce, who took shelter under its branches with his men as they fled from Edward I’s forces after being ambushed at the Battle of Methven in 1306.

It’s one of 70 trees, and another 70 woodlands, across the UK forming an ‘ancient canopy’ to celebrate the Queen’s 70 years on the throne.

The Queen’s Green Canopy project has already seen community groups in Helensburgh and Lomond and across the UK plant trees in celebration of the special anniversary.

The Friends of Hermitage Park planted a copper beech tree in the park in February, with a little help from pupils at Hermitage Primary School, while pupils at Lomond School were joined by Jill Young MBE, the Lord Lieutenant of Dunbartonshire, at the planting of a crab apple tree in the school’s grounds in April.

The ‘Robert the Bruce’ tree in Luss owes its fame to the day more than 700 years ago when Bruce ferried his 200 men across Loch Lomond to safety after they fled west from the English forces.

Bruce is reputed to have taken his men to shelter underneath the yew, which stands on a rocky hill outcrop known as Stuc an t’Iobhairt (or The Hill of the Sacrifice), where he told his men of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.

They later took refuge on Rathlin Island off Ireland’s north coast before regrouping and returning to Scotland the following year and winning the Battle of Loudoun Hill.

David Reid, from the Society of John de Graeme, set up to help promote the history of the Scottish wars of independence said: “The Tree is a living link back to an age of heroes, when our nation at one of its most dire moments rallied and produced heroes.

“Heritage is often brushed aside as irrelevant, but here we have something that almost certainly bore witness to Scotland’s greatest warrior kings at one of the lowest moments of his life. If that is not truly amazing, I don’t know what is.”

A spokesperson for Luss Estates added: “Luss Estates Company is delighted that the Robert the Bruce yew tree has been chosen as part of a nationwide network of 70 Ancient Woodlands and Ancient Trees to be dedicated to The Queen in celebration of the Platinum Jubilee.”

The Ancient Tree initiative was launched by HRH the Duke of Rothesay, patron of the Queen’s Green Canopy, under another tree in the network – a 350-year-old sycamore at Dumfries House in Ayrshire.